Five Tips for Alzheimer’s Caregivers

According to Caregivers.org, there are 15.7 million adults across the United States who are taking care of a loved one with Alzheimer’s disease or another form of dementia. These conditions have no cure and the few medical treatments available can only control symptoms to a limited extent, so being there for your family member makes a huge difference in their quality of life.

Although there are rewards, there are also challenges. As your loved one’s cognitive and functional abilities decline, you may wonder how to keep them happy, comfortable and safe without compromising your own well-being. In this blog, we’ll share 5 tips for Alzheimer’s Caregivers that also answer important financial questions.

Tip 1: Develop Routines

Establishing a general daily routine will provide a sense of stability and familiarity for your loved ones. Try to keep a consistent schedule for waking up, going to bed, going shopping, and receiving visitors. These comparatively simple measures can help orientate someone with Alzheimer’s and keep them feeling reassured and safe.

Tip 2: Involve Them in Daily Activities

Encourage your loved one to participate in daily activities as much as they’re able. If they always loved gardening, they can still water the flower bushes even if clipping and digging are no longer safe. During meal preparation, encourage them to pour cereal for milk, tear lettuce for salads, and do other tasks that don’t require contact with electrical equipment or a hot stove.

Tip 3: Communicate Patiently

As Alzheimer’s progresses, a person’s communication skills decline. They may become confused easily, have trouble finding words, and become agitated. Remember to be patient and keep things simple by speaking slowly, asking one question at a time, and being prepared to repeat yourself if necessary. Whenever possible, ask questions with a simple yes or no answer.

Tip 4: Review or Make Legal Arrangements

When your loved one is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, considerations need to be made regarding their future medical care and financial affairs. Encourage them to go with you to an estate planning attorney while they still have capacity to make or update a will and create arrangements such as powers of attorney for finances and healthcare. If they have already lost capacity, you may have to apply for guardianship/ conservatorship that lets you manage their medical treatments and finances in accordance with what you believe to be their wishes.

Tip 5: Develop a Personal Support Plan

While rewarding, caregiving can require so much of your time and energy that you could face an increased risk of health problems like depression, stress, and burnout. Make sure that you take time for your own needs and, if necessary, get a trusted friend or family member to stay with your loved one while you enjoy an afternoon or even weekend off.

Contact a Compassionate Elder Care Law Firm

These strategies can make your caregiving experience as rewarding as it is challenging. At Elder Advisors Law, we are here to support you with the estate planning strategies and moral support you need to keep your loved one secure and give you peace of mind. To learn more, please contact us any time. We’re here for you!

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Elder Advisors Law

As Leaders in Estate Planning and Elder Law, we are passionate about helping families protect their hard-earned assets from the government, nursing homes, lawsuits or other predators.

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